President Barack Obama smiles during a campaign event at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida …"The president believes as much that God should be taken off a coin as he does that aliens will attack Florida."
That's the response from Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki to Mitt Romney's apparent suggestion at a Virginia Beach, Va., rally on Saturday that Democrats hope to take "In God We Trust" off American money. There is no such effort.
"I will not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart. We're a nation that's bestowed by God," the Republican standard-bearer said.
"Look, this is nothing more than a desperate attack based on a false premise by the Romney team, and it's sad that the debate has been driven to this level of discourse," said Psaki. "It's an absurd question to be raised."
(White House press secretary Jay Carney piled on, saying that, in presidential campaigns, "there's a period when the argument is not going your way… and you begin to see random issues thrown up like spaghetti against the wall to see if anything can stick.")
Romney's riff came after embarrassed Democrats gathered at their national convention in Charlotte, N.C., restored the only reference to God in their party platform after dropping it.
Psaki and Carney's remarks were collected and shared by pool reporter Reid Epstein of Politico.